GREEN / SUSTAINABILITY POLICY
Our Commitment to Sustainable & Responsible Business Practices & Tourism.
Hebridean Adventures’ vision is to provide an unforgettable slow-travel experience ‘From Sea to Shore’ so the public can visit, appreciate and understand the value of the outstanding world-class wildlife, habitats and land and seascapes of the Hebridean islands, the Minch and west coast of the Scottish Highlands. At the same time, we wish to educate our guests on the importance of safeguarding these environments and creatures via the citizen science efforts we undertake, which we also enable and empower them to participate in. A key long-term goal is to increase the number of our visitors wishing to continue supporting local conservation efforts in particular, as well as practicing sustainability measures on an ongoing basis and encouraging their responsible tourism for the future as we also commit to continuing to adapt and improve our business practices as well.
We are proud to say our business and key team members are accredited via ongoing training from the Wildlife Safe Scheme (WiSe), the UK’s national training scheme for minimising disturbance to marine wildlife. We already work closely with several marine conservation organisations, namely the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust (HWDT) as an official Charity Partner, Whale & Dolphin Conservation UK (WDC) hosting a researcher on board and the Sea Watch Foundation (Recommended Boat Partner) on providing valuable sightings data, fin ID photos and researcher opportunities on board, and we are actively talking to them to see how we can increase this further, practically and financially. This has included us becoming an official charity partner of the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust, whereby we are making a £30 donation for every guest booked on our regular cruises starting this season. Those guests are offered a FREE 1-year membership of HWDT with our compliments and encouraged to renew and remain members for the long term. Furthermore, we have also instigated new annual fundraising cruises on behalf of HWDT and the Sea Watch Foundation in 2021, and are growing this to also include the RSPB and the National Trust for Scotland in 2022, and hope to include the WDC as well. We will be donating 15% of the proceeds of these cruises to the partner organisations.
We commit to further minimising disturbance to the animals and birds we encounter with our guests by seeking to continually improve our operations. One such noticeable improvement was to move the boat exhaust from below the waterline to above water, thereby reducing underwater noise generated by us for the cetaceans and basking sharks we come across.
We actively support local businesses and individual artisans by purchasing local produce for our tours wherever practical, and also providing them increased exposure directly via retail opportunities in our small booking office/shop plus via excursion visits, and indirectly by showcasing local attractions and businesses on dedicated website pages and via our social media on an ongoing basis. We pledge to continue to find and work with more local producers on providing a wider variety of food, drink and products such as Harris Tweed from across the Highlands and Islands region.
The management of Hebridean Adventures commit to meeting all legal compliances with regards to environmental legislation. We are working actively to reduce waste by ensuring the maximum amount of recycling is undertaken on board, and work with Clean Coast Outer Hebrides on facilitating remote beach cleans. This combines with our continued drive to reduce plastic usage and adoption of ecologically friendly cleaning products. We are also implementing low energy and low water usage appliances where practical and safe.
We encourage visitors to utilise public transport to reach us where practical, and plan to work more closely with the appropriate air, rail and ferry operators on joint marketing efforts for our various departure points to highlight the options better. We are also offering a central pickup and drop-off point in Inverness with our own minibus for the first time in the 2020 season on selected tours initially, but plan to increase this to more tours in the future.
We are an equal opportunity employer and commit to always working above and beyond the terms of the Equality Act 2010 and Modern Slavery Act 2015.